Game Dev Algebra

Wowzers. The Escapist has a whole bunch of articles on EA, just came out.

There’s one on how EA became the behemoth it is today.

There’s a really horrible piece that couldn’t do better than scan that seems to be about the authors opinions on EA’s market conditions.

There’s that bitchin’ ad for Second Life that they run every issue.

There’s one on how EA devoured Origin’s soul. And this, I think, is by far the most interesting of the lot. Read it, and let’s sit down, grab a cup of joe, and talk.

See, it points to something I’ve been mulling over for some time now. Let’s see if I can express my thoughts… algabraically.

  • Personal contribution = (personal sacrifice) x (talent)
  • Quality = (personal contribution) x (# of developers) x (months)
  • Cost = (salaries) x (# of developers) x (months)
  • Profit = (quality) x ( (marketing) + (licensing) ) – (cost)
  • Personal Profit = (profit) / (# of developers)

Solve!

The Origin Way:

  • let (personal contribution) = 10,000 dollar ergs of worthiness
  • let (# of developers) = 5
  • let (months) = random (12-48)
  • let (salaries) < (industry average)
  • let (marketing) = 3
  • let (licensing) = 0
  1. Quality = 10,000 x 5 x ~24 = 1,200,000 (which is a lot of quality, as we all know)
  2. Cost = ~$2000 (~$24K) x 5 x 24 = $240,000 (dirt cheap!)
  3. Sales = 1,200,000 x (3 + 0) = $3,600,000 (people liked it!)
  4. Profit = $3,600,000 – $240,000 = $3,360,000 (much dough, low overhead)
  5. Personal Profit = $3,360,000 / 5 = $672,000 each (which is a lot of green for those 5 people)

The EA Way:

  • let (personal contribution) = 1000 dollar ergs of worthiness
  • let (# of developers) = random (50-200)
  • let (months) = 12
  • let (salaries) > (industry average)
  • let (marketing) = 10
  • let (licensing) = 10
  1. Quality (~1000 x ~125 x 12) = 1,500,000 (which is, of course, only slightly higher than what was achieved above)
  2. Cost ($6000 (~$72K) x ~125 x 12) = $9,000,000 (ow! high! ow!)
  3. Sales (1,500,000 x (10 + 10) ) = $30,000,000
  4. Profit = $30,000,000 – $9,000,000 = $21,000,000 (much dough, high overhead)
  5. Personal Profit = $21,000,000 / 125 = HA! Who are you trying to kid.

I’ll understand if none of that makes any sense at all. I will. And, I promise not to take it personally when you fail the test on Monday.

I could tell you which model I aspire to, but I prefer to seem secretive and reserved. But I bet you can guess.

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the_darklorde

I design.

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